CHAT – Care and Hospitality at Thornbury

The CHAT Project has two elements; CHAT Phoenix House and CHAT English Club. With an emphasis on hospitality, CHAT works to support those seeking asylum both at their hearing and to help people improve their language skills.

CHAT Phoenix House

CHAT volunteers support those attending Asylum and other hearings at the Regional Tribunals Hearing Centre, commonly known as the Asylum Court at Phoenix House, Thornbury, Bradford. Asylum Seekers often have to travel long distances. Alone or with family members and children, usually in anxious state, they may have to wait long hours in a place with few facilities, where it is difficult to relax. There are limited opportunities to buy food or to find anyone concerned with their personal needs.

CHAT volunteers are present at Phoenix House most mornings from 10am-12.00pm. Thanks to the cooperation of Phoenix House staff, we have a tea trolley in the building so we can offer refreshments alongside a listening ear. If it has been an initial hearing or adjournment we may see people again, but even if we see them only once there is no doubt that those attending the court appreciate our concern for them and the opportunity to talk to someone who is friendly.

CHAT English Club

CHAT English club offers conversation English classes to asylum seekers and other members of the community. It is a fun learning environment for those wishing to practice their English conversational skills and allows everyone the chance to get involved. The class is open to all levels and focuses on conversation, building confidence and enjoyment.

CHAT English Club
The classes run every Wednesday from 10am-12 at Touchstone (4 Easby Road, BD7 1QX)

Can you help?

Could you join our team to offer a welcome to those who attend the Court? Would you like to get involved with the English club? Please see our Volunteering page to download an application form.

For more information you can email us: for Chat Phoenix House, email Alice at and for English Club, email Mandy at